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New Pahrump wine bar provides calm retreat from everyday chaos

When the stresses of daily life start to grate on the nerves, sometimes all a person needs is a little time to unwind and readers can find a perfect place to do just that at The Wine Down.

Opened less than four months ago in the Albertsons shopping plaza, The Wine Down features a varietals of wines, both bottled and “kegged,” in reds and whites from sweet to dry, as well as top-shelf liquors.

The staff can prepare patrons some delightful appetizer-style plates that make ideal snacking. And the atmosphere is quite a contrast to what can be found in most bars in Pahrump, which often feature sports on multiple televisions alongside gaming machines. Instead, The Wine Down has just a single TV screen playing travel shows while soft music creates a light background noise, all surrounded by a non-smoking, chic yet welcoming interior.

It’s all the product of a longtime dream of local resident Joelle Bolton and her husband Keith Bolton, both of whom have deep roots in the wine industry. Keith owns his own vineyard maintenance company, Bolton Vines, and Joelle got her start over a decade ago, working at the Pahrump Valley Winery under Bill and Gretchen Loken.

“I fell in love with Gretchen and she helped me to fall in love with wine,” Joelle said.

When the Pahrump Valley Winery was sold in 2019, Joelle moved on, this time assisting Tim Burke and Pam Tyler during the startup of Artesian Cellars. After two years with that company, things were running well so Joelle decided it was her moment to strike out into the business world for herself.

“I’ve always wanted to do this and it just seemed like the right time. It was a learning curve for sure and a big, long process, between the construction and the licensing, but here we are and we’re so happy,” she detailed. “And the reception has been incredible. We did open at the slowest time of the year, the middle of summer, but that wasn’t terrible because it gave us time to really get into the groove of things and build relationships with the people who do come in. Everyone has received us so beautifully and we get a lot of compliments on the aesthetics of the bar.”

Keith jumped in to add that a large percentage of the clientele thus far has been women ages 30 and over.

“One of the comments that I have heard a lot from women is, they don’t have a place where they can go to feel safe. They don’t want to go to a dive bar kind of place and sit alone, they don’t feel comfortable. But they don’t have that problem here. There is no place in town like this for that kind of crowd,” Keith said.

As to the offerings at The Wine Down, there are a variety of bottled wines available, as well as six wines on tap, which is something that is becoming a trend in the industry.

“We’re finding that more and more wine makers are going to the keg system, which is fantastic. There so much less waste,” Joelle explained. “And what we’re doing, just for the fun of it, is keeping a tally. Every time we blow a keg, that’s 28 bottles that didn’t end up in our landfill.”

It’s not just about the wine, either, with a full bar of options.

“We’ve got liquors, wine slushies, beer, including a Nevada local cider and a local beer from out in Henderson, so there is something for everyone’s tastes,” Joelle said.

The Wine Down operates with a snack bar license, which restricts the food that can be served but Joelle and Keith both agreed that the menu they were able to develop is full of tempting delights, from cheese boards to bruschetta, charcuterie boards, desserts and more. As the winter months settle, The Wine Down will be branching into soup, too.

When it comes to activities, Joelle said she wants to keep them light, fun and unique.

“We host trivia nights every Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. and for Halloween, we’re going to have a Tarot card reader on Oct. 28,” Joelle said. “We’d like to have some guest speakers come in, too, like the new wine maker for Charleston Peak Winery. And maybe we can do something with the Low Side Cigar Lounge, like a whiskey and cigar night and for Christmas, we’ll have a few fun things, like maybe a wine and Christmas cookie pairing night. Just different things that other places aren’t really doing here.

“Right now we are focusing on booking holiday parties,” she continued. “Small, intimate parties of up to about 35 guests, which gives us plenty of room to still move around and enjoy the space. We’ve already done four parties and they have all been very happy customers.”

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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